tv Thomas Jeffersons University of Virginia Papers CSPAN April 15, 2017 6:47pm-7:01pm EDT
thank you. >> you can watch this and other programs onis line at booktv.org. >> we're at the thomas jefferson university of virginia up next we take you to special corrections library to learn more about the jefferson papers. >> jefferson is founder of uva he worked for many, many years to develop this system of education in virginia. uva was his he said it was his last great project which he did after he left the white house. he designed buildings and designed crime welcome. he servedded as first chair of the board of visitors. he was intimately involved as you will see in a lot of the details about building the buildings. so pretty much everything you can think of. his vision was --
it's a term that got thrown around a lot today called an academic call village if you look at his plan for the university, at the time a lot of universities king thed of one very big building where class were held and dormitory rooms things like that and jefferson's idea was to -- essentially make a village out of it with the students living near the the professors and classes being given in the professor's homes and -- you know so there was all of this constant interaction of students and faculty. plus it is in charlottesville in the 1820s which is very small town of a village really -- and so if you think about these amazing buildings that went up in early 1820s in essentially in nowhere in virginia, you know, it was part of his ideal of, you know, the united states
is in a gray society, and the elite becoming leaders of the country, and all of that sort of thing. >> well the university archives are the official historical records of the university, and they go back to actually long before the university was chartered by the state that was in 1819. and records go back to 1814 to the two institutions that proceeded uva. the archives as i said are about four million items it's the record of the board of visitors. it's the records of the president. the dean, the provo the line every facet of the university. it's paper, it's sound recording, it's video recording, it is digital materials it is e-mail it's website. you know anything that is a historic record of the university we try to capture these are early records --
some that go back to 1817. this is a letter that jefferson wrote in 1817 to william thornton who was the man he assigned to work on the united states capitol building when he was president so she were very good friends. and jefferson wrote to thornton about his ideas for the university and you'll see in the middle he included a little sketch of what he was thinking. sort of open ended reck rectangle with pavilion with with dormitory rooms regularly and then an open area that he says is grass, now no more detail than that. so that's one of his very first conceptions for the university is a basic part of the idea. but it changed dramatically between the time he dry that sketch and university was twails completed. it was about nine years after
the the sketch this was 1817 and university complete in 196. each of the ten pavilion inhabited by a professor and they taught their classes actually there in the pavilion. so they lived among the students and lived adjacent to the faculty one of jefferson's idea that the -- proximity would result in, you know, all kinds of educational and intellectual exchange so this was the first building that was constructed at the university. it's now the column aid club a faculty club. this was actually constructed again before the university was chartered in 1819 one of jefferson's drawings he did a drawing like this with an elevation and floor plans for each of the ten pavilions. you can see he -- didn't quite get his scale
right, and had to glue on a small had piece of paper to complete the chimney stack. i kind of like that it makes hill a little more human, i think that he could actually make a mistake like that so this was example of the ground floor of the pavilion two room and this is cellar this is upstair ises upstairs would be living room for the family and the lower floor of the cellar was where -- the cooking happened and where some of the slaves who worked for the professors qowld have lived. obviously, you can see it's knew yo classical and he was interested in classical architecture. one of his big source books was -- four books in english in i believe came out in 1721 and he used those to --
draw inspiration especially for the pavilions for the various pavilions each one is different. he wanted the university to be an open air classroom even in its building so you can walk arranged and see examples of classical architecture in different orders of architect hour, and different style and features and that was very much a part of what he wanted to have happen. university got off the ground when general assembly gave university a charter and gave the university funding to continue building buildings that was very critical as it always is, and this is a ledger mantessed by proctor that was essentially chief operating officer of the university. it has called the day book, and in essentially this is where you
wrote down incoming and outgoing funds every day. and you would eventually transfer them officially to a ledger you know under the various funds you would establish balances. you would see all of that sort of thing. the great thing about this is -- made noatsz about what these were for, so it goes from -- a barrel of nails to 500 pounds of flour to x number of board feed of lumber to hauling brks and hauling earth, and most importantly for uva, it shows you the source of the labor that was used to actually build buildings and here on this page the producter arthur has recorded payments that were made to individuals for hire of their slave and slaves are actually
named you can see -- here is a payment for tom a name of the slave and then barrett and george. so we know who individuals were with and who the slave was to hire at uva that goes on and on and on throughout the years of construction. it has been identified that probably overall there was somewhere in the neighborhood of -- 50 to 75 ewe uniquely name slaves if we're not sure if same slave with the same name is the same person. and of course not every slave was hired for the duration that it was -- it was common that a slave hire was done for a year and that on the new year and new contract would be offered to owner and it would be renegotiated. i suspect a lot of this was done on a monthly or daily or even a weekly basis.
with the owners -- now if you finished -- moving earth for the terraces you don't need as much labor so you can send them back to their owner to work on the other hand if you have someone who is skilled -- carpenter perhaps or skilled at making bricks, you might need them for much longer. of course this is rough most iconic of the building and what everybody thinks about when they think of uva it is based on model in rome, and it's a -- model that jefferson adapted from plat owe volume that i mention. we also like to point out that in lower corner he says it's the library. which, of course, it was. and it was the library from when it opened in 1826 this will 1938. and we're always very proud of that.
it's served as library and classroom building there was a chemistry lab in the basement. there were classrooms there were meeting rooms. it was the center of university of life. it has changed dramatically in the 20th century as i said the library until 1938, and then a new main library, adjacent to this building was built, and the rotunda used as a event space and for officers and essentially from about world war ii until very recently there was not a lot of assigned activity to the rotunda it was more of a ceremonial space and -- students could go four years without going into the rotunda and didn't seem leak quite the right thing so undergone
about -- two years worth of repair and renovation. and with an eye specifically to making it more excessable and more appealing to students to use to study in the dome room to study in the other room to have it open later at night. have spaces that were more classes can meet. so they're trying really hard i think it's a great idea to bring it back to the center of academic life and not just have it as a big monument sitting at the head of the lawn. >> there's no question that jefferson would be astonished about uva today. sheerly from size alone if you think about -- the size of the original building versus what had exist now at uva it is immense. the student body is enormous and before the civil war i believe the highest enrollment uva had